Friday, April 15, 2011

Nez Perce' Cradle Board

 Here is the cradleboard shown in this well known Curtis photo of a Nez Perce' Baby.   It was quite a while ago I had this one in.   But what surprised me was the colors on it.   Often this can be the case, as what one thing looks like in a photo can be totally different in real life.  But either way, you have to admit that is one cute baby (which did not come with the cradleboard :-) )

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

When You Get To Hold History In Your Hands

I have been very fortunate to have handled some important historic Native art in my capacity as a restoration specialist (As well as being a artist).  It teaches me more about the art than any other way I think I could imagine.  It helps me greatly in knowing how this work is done which I then use this knowledge to create and make new works.  No amount of looking at photos of artifacts can replace actually getting to feel, smell, handle, and repair the work.  Fixing what the artist did teaches you as if you were to have a paint brush and follow a master painters work brush stroke to brush stroke.

This dress was one of those famous works.  It is shown in this famous Curtis photo of "The Wife of Mnainak",  A Yakima Chief.   I have restored quite a few of these Plateau Mt. Sheep Hide Dresses.  They are one of my favorite items to make as well.
 So in the next few weeks, I will show some of the works I have been fortunate to have worked on that appear in some pretty famous photos.   For me it doesn't get any better than that :-)


Friday, April 8, 2011

Horse Dance Stick

 This "Horse Dance Stick" or memorial stick was a joint project between myself and NW Coast Carver Joe David.  It is carved to represent my Appaloosa "Cappy".  Generally these are made to honor a respected horse, like one the warrior rode into battle and was killed.   Such are the carvings made by the famous Standing Rock Sioux warrior No Two Horns who made the horse sticks in the last photo.  These memorialize a blue roan horse that was shot several times in battle but carried No Two Horns until he could no longer do so.   But I have to add, Cappy is very much alive right now, although missing a little of his mane which he donated to the project.
The feather stick under the chin are a type of war medicine that were used by the Blackfeet and some of the other surrounding tribes.  

While I have not ridden Cappy into war or the situations that these horses have been memorialized for, we have in the past done some different types of horse shows.  And I can tell you they can be just as bad  as if you were at war :-)